Interesting news today from Amazon: KDP authors can now reach the world’s largest English-speaking democracy. Amazon announced that, in partnership with Croma retail stores to sell the Kindle, Amazon’s digital bookstores have thrown their doors open to the 1,000,000 books available for the Kindle e-reader at www.amazon.com/kindlestoreindia.
“We are proud to launch this new Kindle store for Indian customers — offering Kindle book purchases in rupees and the ability to buy and read the work of many great Indian authors,” said Russ Grandinetti, vice president of Kindle Content, Amazon.com. “In addition, we are excited to work with Croma to make Kindle available at retail outlets across India.”
Reporting & Pricing
From my perspective, one of the more interesting things is that the reporting functionality is part of the Amazon.com (i.e., U.S.) store.; your reporting will be included in your Amazon.com numbers (which may lead to confusing statistics if KDP doesn’t indicate/break out India sales in some way).
As for pricing, KDP authors can–and probably should–set the price independently from their U.S. prices, for reasons Akshat Singhal, an Indian author and book marketer (visit him at www.thebookplex.com) commenting on Kindleboards, gives:
“The eCommerce market in India has just taken off and is poised to grow at a massive rate and Amazon has been trying to penetrate into the market. Books offer a way to enter this market since online book retailers in India are making massive money.
Now why does India needs a special mention? Its because books are very cheap in India. For example, the price of a paperback is same as what an eBook will cost in US! You will get paperbacks for as low as $2 and it will be brand new edition!”
A second, more macro-level–and ultimately more interesting–issue, is that this opens the U.S. Kindle market in both directions. I will admit to not knowing the ins and outs of international Kindle publishing, but assume it was not impossible for an India author to get published on .com before today’s announcement.
But with no outlet in India (in hardware or in its own India Amazon e-book market), the rewards might’ve seemed distant. With a domestic market and an open pipeline to the U.S. market, however, it seems likely that more Indian authors will attempt to make a name for themselves in the U.S. e-book landscape.
Which is a great thing! I welcome the global literary explosion. But if you thought it was tough finding that “one good book” amongst the 1 million already on Amazon.com, what’s going to happen when a country of 1.2 billion people (of which only a small subset are aspiring authors, but still could number in the millions) hit the market? Conversely, what happens when your book hits an English-speaking market with a literate population that’s been estimated at between 650 – 900 million?
The potential scales of success and reach for writers have just increased exponentially.